Monday, May 19, 2003


Former title-holder Anne Laing from Vale of Leven set a cracking pace in the opening qualifying round of the Centenary Scottish women's amatgeur championship over the Old Course, St Andrews today with a four-under-par round of 72.
That represented a very high standard of play in blustery conditions which were far from easy and gave her a one-stroke lead from another past champion, Lynn Kenny (Stirling University) with teenager Jenna Wilson (Strathaven) in third place in mid-afternoon with a 74.
A third past champion in the top four was Alison Davidson from Stirling with a 76.
Anne Laing's figures were:
OUT: 4 5 4 5 5 4 4 3 3 (one-under 37).
IN: 3 3 4 4 5 4 3 5 4 (three-under 35)
Miss Laing (27), a lecturer at Elmwood College, Coupar, actually three-putted three of the first five greens but was still level par standing on the sixth green. The British mid-amateur champion got home in two at each of the long par-5s, the second, fourth and fifth, but three-putted them all.
Her first birdie was a 3 at the ninth where she holed a 10yd putt.
Another birdie followed at the 10th (296yd) which she drove and two-putted. Birdies Nos three and four came at the long 13th (two putts from 30yd) and par-4 16th where she sank a 15ftr.
"I always feel comfortable on the Old Course," said Ann, a past winner of the St Rule Trophy over the Old and New Courses. "I was not in a single bunker and that always helps you to score here. And I recently had a chat with sports pyschologist Vikki Aitken. She told me to "stay in the present," in other words take each shot, each hole as it comes, and I think it worked well today."